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FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Timberwolves – Play-In Game – 2023

Franchise Sports Media

Los Angeles Lakers (43-39) | Minnesota Timberwolves (42-40)


The Los Angeles Lakers outlasted the Minnesota Timberwolves in overtime 108-102. They’ll move on to face the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Lakers vs Timberwolves played at the Arena on Tuesday.

Lakers vs Timberwolves LeBron James
Photo Credit: Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images

Despite the difficulties, the Los Angeles Lakers advanced with their win over the Minnesota Timberwolves and are now the seventh seed in the West. They’ll travel to Memphis to play the second-seeded Memphis Grizzlies

This game was the definition of having the ‘next-play’ mentality,” Lakers head coach Darvin Ham said.

LeBron James had 30 points (12-of-21 FGs, 3-for-6 3s), 10 rebounds, six assists, and two blocks in 45 minutes of play. Anthony Davis posted 24 points (10-of-19 FGs), 15 rebounds, four assists, two steals, and three blocks in 43 minutes of play.

It was fun. The energy was there. This is what you dream about,” Davis said of the home crowd for getting the Lakers back into the game. “It was electric tonight. I can’t wait until we come back home for our two home games. I know it’s gonna be even louder.”

Dennis Schroder played a huge role in this one, totaling 21 points (5-of-12 FGs, 3-for-4 3s, 8-for-8 FTs) and four rebounds off the bench. Schroder also made an incredible corner 3 that would’ve been the game-winning shot had Davis not fouled Mike Conley behind the arc.

LeBron James stayed locked in

He lives for those types of moments,” Ham said of Schroder. “It’s Dennis. It’s classic Dennis. We’re fortunate that he’s on our team.”

The start of the Lakers vs Timberwolves first half. 

Lakers vs Timberwolves D'Angelo Russell
Photo Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

For the Timberwolves, they were without Rudy Gobert and Jaden McDaniels, losing the former to a one-game suspension for throwing a punch to the chest of Kyle Anderson and losing McDaniels to a hand injury.

However, Karl Anthony-Towns still did his thing with 24 points (8-of-12 FGs, 2-for-4 3s, 6-for-6 FTs), 11 rebounds, five assists, and three blocks. Though Towns was nullified down the stretch as he managed to finish out the game playing with five fouls. Towns was also a team-best +18.

Anthony Edwards disappointed with just nine points (3-for-17 FGs, 0-of-9 3s), eight rebounds, five assists, and three blocks. The Lakers chose to prioritize Edwards defensively and limited him to tough shots. Conley made up for Edwards’ slump with 23 points (7-for-11 FGs, 6-of-8 3s), four rebounds, four assists, and three steals.

Outside shooting was the difference early on, as two defensive breakdowns from Los Angeles late in the first quarter left Taurean Prince wide open for a pair of 3’s, and he hit them both to help Minnesota to a 28-22 lead.

The Lakers continued to not get out to Minnesota’s 3-point shooters. The Wolves were 7-for-12 from 3, and 65.2% overall.

Minnesota, however, suffered from a lack of depth in the frontcourt with Gobert’s suspension and Naz Reid’s injury, as Towns picked up two of his five total fouls early.

A personal 5-0 run from Austin Reaves had the Lakers within a single point at 44-43, after a rough start had them down by as many as 11.

The end of the Lakers vs Timberwolves first half. 

It was an abysmal end to the first half for Los Angeles, as Minnesota closed on a 16-6 run. Towns and Conley both shot 100 percent overall and 100 percent from deep in the first half.

The start of the Lakers vs Timberwolves second half. 

Lakers vs Timberwolves LeBron James
Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images

The Lakers closed the third quarter on a 14-6 run, getting downhill constantly and preventing some of the easy transition baskets Minnesota had earlier in the frame. Los Angeles, down by as many as 15, trimmed the margin to seven entering the fourth quarter.

The Lakers opened the fourth quarter on a 7-3 run to trim the deficit to just three, 89-86, with 8:16 remaining in the fourth. Towns had five personal fouls for the entire quarter, and Los Angeles didn’t attack him.

The ending of the fourth quarter was a rock fight. Both teams combined to score 25 points in the fourth with 32.8 seconds left. Minnesota hadn’t scored since the 6:01 mark when they led 95-88.

Yet, the Lakers missed several opportunities to take the lead, and a turnover on the inbounds pass gave the Timberwolves the ball with 30.3 seconds left.

Davis shut down the Wolves’ offense in the fourth, holding Minnesota to nine points with 0.1 seconds left. However, he fouled Conley attempting a game-tying three, and Conley hit all three free throws to force overtime.

The Lakers, who started 2-10 and were 26-32 midway through February as the 13th seed, clawed their way up to the seventh seed.

In other news:

With the Lakers claiming the seventh seed, the pick swap that the New Orleans Pelicans own from the Davis trade will not be used.

For the first time since all four teams have been in the NBA (34 seasons), each will compete in the postseason (Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors, and the Lakers).

Davis was named Western Conference Player of the Month for games played in March and April. Davis averaged 26.2 points (56.9 percent FGs), an NBA-best 12.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.9 blocks. The Lakers were a league-best 14-6 through March and April.

The final score of the Lakers vs Timberwolves was 108-102 , Lakers.

The Lakers exit the Play-in tournament and emerge as the seventh seed in the Western Conference. They’ll play the second-seeded Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday, April 16th at 12:00 p.m. PT. The game will be on ABC.


– Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

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